The most common treatment for a Bartholin's abscess is using a sitz bath, a bath that helps to relieve pain and discomfort, states Healthline. Surgery may help counteract the problem as well. The condition may reoccur even after treatment.
Taking a sitz bath involves filling a tub with warm water, then soaking the perineum about four times a day, notes Healthline. Surgery may be necessary if nonpharmacological treatments fail to cure the problem, if the abscess lasts for more than seven days or if the abscess is severe. Surgery typically involves opening the affected area, inserting a catheter, draining out the abscess and removing the catheter. Marsupialization is another surgical procedure that may help treat the problem. If symptoms persist, the doctor may remove the Bartholin’s glands.
Certain bacteria and sexually transmitted diseases may trigger an infection or cause blockage or swelling on the sides of the vagina, according to Healthline. If swelling continues, fluid fills in the gland and forms an abscess, which may break open with time.
The gland may become tender and painful, explains Healthline. Lumps that form around the vagina may indicate that a person has a Bartholin's abscess. In addition to physical examination, a biopsy and sexually transmitted disease tests may help diagnose the condition.